Anyone any experience of working for or with the UN?

Discussion in 'Jobs (Discussion)' started by SONIC, Jun 10, 2006.

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  1. Looking for any thoughts on the UN, thinking of jumping ship and trying to get a job with them. At the moment apart from what can be got from their website, my knowledge of them is pretty much zero.
  2. There is a site regular who used to work for the UN, but he left because it was w*nk in every way shape and form. I'm sure the person in question can elaborate further if they see this thread.
  3. I currently work for the UN and have done for the past 13 years. It can be very **** at times, but at other sit can be great. PM me if you have specific questions.
  4. Recruiting web sites....UN - The blue UN guys, humanitarian aid, de-mining, etc recruit from here - The black UN guys, more miltary style organised, their the security wing recruit using this UN main site

    I havent worked for them but a collegue who has told me that its a hell of a beauocratic organisation to work for. Another detail was that the pay was average and with most contracts you dont get the cash until completion, and you find yourself paying for a lot of things (such as air fare there in this case). Don't know wether this is the standard sort of bullsh*t or a one off, but thats the report I had back.
  5. Many thanks for comments so far. Has anyone got anything further to add, difficult to get into, what are the living conditions, pay etc like?
  6. Didn't Dread do UN stuff for a while? He might be able to help....
  7. Maybe that is the regular to whom Speedy was referring, but did not choose to name, giving him/her the option of responding on the thread, rather than risk him/her being inundated with p.m.'s on the subject.
  8. Hi, normally very short contracts, tons of paperwork and bureaucracy, pay is ok but nothing to write home about. There is better stuff out there.
  9. Contracts usually only for six months, pay good as are the perks (pension is amazing), however quality of ones collegues is abysmal, the UN through its ‘positive discrimination' recruitment quotas is essentially a third world bureaucracy. If your a time server who occasionaly likes to do good, and are not easliy riled by mindless paperchases then go for it.
  10. My contracts are two years each time
  11. I'll second that! You have to learn to be very, very.........VERY patient and learn to go with the flow.
  12. Thanks, all useful stuff. If there is better stuff out there, any suggestions? Pointers, tips etc much appreciated!
  13. It depends on what you are looking for Sonic. The UN is a large family of agencies and programmes, as well as the the Secretariat in NY and the offices in Vienna, Geneva and Nairobi.

    The UN does not actually recruit centrally so each part of it is its own empire, expecially if you are thinking of UNHCR, UNICEF or WHO.
  14. Sonic

    I am still having to chase them for 5 grand they have owed me for 9 months now, not bad for ten days work apart from the fact you never actually get it. If you go in, go in as staff NOT a contractor. UNDP are the absolutly the worse, UNPIO are usually fun(ish) but skint, UNHCR are quite on the ball, UN NY are all mountain climbing so they will step on your head, UNESCO is full of Uber Vixens and is rather cool in a raiders of the lost ark sort of way, and as to the thousands of other varients......good luck.
  15. :)

    Inf/MP has a lot more experience in the UN than me, and must have a very good meditation routine going to cope with the cr@p for 13 years! I could only cope with a year working for UNMIK (the abortion that is the UN administration in Kosovo). I had thought that with my 11 years military experience and 4 years of commerce (eastern European financial institutions), I could cope. I couldn't.

    The money is quite good, and depending where you serve, the allowances can be excellent. Though salaries are tax free, they are subject to a UN charge of about 30%. The good news is that Gordon Brown and his cronies cannot touch you from the day you join (as you are exempt from taxes on all UN income by treaty).

    It is slow and any progress is torture. It can crush the strongest of wills. Why? Because apart from the sheer incompetance of many of its servants, and even ignoring the corruption (africans are the most open and venal, but yanks and scandanavians get more cash per head!), what made me dispair was that there are a large number of people actively fcuking things up so that the situation never gets better. I saw people in Kosovo making decisions based not on what was good for the local population, good for the reconstruction of the region or in line with UN directives, but on what their own national government's policy was (frogs and the germans were the worst by far). People would also do their best to prolong their contracts by never being quite able to resolve problems (while being masters at appearing to work hard to their resolution), and always having long lists of external factors to blame.

    Despite my negativity, there are some truly gifted people working for the UN, and doing their best to improve the lives of people where they are sent. The UN is under-resourced (sounds familiar?), but manages to stick to some pretty stupid rules. It is worth noting that it is an organisation where the administrators are kings. Fancy going to war and the only people making decisions are G1, leaving G3 to pick up the pieces?

    So if you can work for a morally bankrupt organisation that takes political correctness to new levels, enjoy banging your head against a brick wall while watching corrupt and incompetent people flourish, then it is a great place to work!